Seesaw Rolls Out New Capability with Clipchamp’s JavaScript Video Recorder API

Posted June 20, 2017
Written by Tobi Raub

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Protecting our users’ privacy is critical to us.We wanted a solution that didn’t involve sending their sensitive data such as video files to a third party for processing.The Clipchamp API and its direct upload from the client to our cloud storage fit the bill perfectly.

Adrian GrahamCo-Founder Seesaw

The Seesaw app allows students to create journals and portfolios in the classroom. It’s an invaluable tool, enabling educators and parents to deeply engage children while teaching them vital skills in the digital world.

Even though students, teachers and parents alike had already fallen in love with the app, there was some room for growth in its capabilities. Efficiently and securely implementing something as sensitive as student videos wasn’t feasible for the Seesaw team until their collaboration with Clipchamp.

Introducing video capability to Seesaw

“We didn’t have video before,” explains Seesaw Co-Founder, Adrian Graham. “We were uploading images and some other ways that students can add work to their journals but we didn’t support video.

Clipchamp really enabled us to roll that out in a way that we felt was the level of quality that we wanted. A lot of the other things we looked at before just felt like they were either going to be too slow or poor quality in some way that wasn’t actually advantageous for us.”

One of Seesaw’s challenges was that processing large amounts of user-generated video content is burdensome on servers and can create overload. This could be circumvented by using Clipchamp’s JavaScript video recorder API as it eliminates server-side transcoding.

Another key aspect was protecting user privacy. Graham adds “We take student privacy very seriously at Seesaw. Clipchamp enabled us to add video to Seesaw without having to share data with a 3rd party for processing.”

In a classroom setting students generally work on the same project all at once, which results in multiple, simultaneous file uploads. That kind of volume might easily create problems for a server-side processing setup.

Through Clipchamp’s service, Seesaw is able to receive webcam recordings and video files from students without any need for additional transcoding.  All of the compression is done on the user’s computer prior to uploading.

This significantly decreases server load and the costs associated, eliminates potential for overload and allows near immediate availability of the video. Referencing some of the benefits of the efficiency of Clipchamp’s JS video solution, Graham said, “We really liked the way Clipchamp took advantage of the hardware in the Chromebook and other computers to make uploads much, much faster.

Client-side compression gave us the confidence that if lots of people used it at once, it was going to work well and not get bogged down because of some server-side bottleneck.”

Protecting students’ privacy

Clipchamp’s client-side transcoding and direct uploading helps Seesaw comply with laws like COPPA by not sending video data to a 3rd party for processing. Because there is no need to route video through any outside servers for conversion, there is no possibility that any 3rd party could obtain the videos uploaded by the students.

Educators and parents alike can feel confident about the security of student content. “Protecting our users’ privacy is critical to us,” Graham explained. “We wanted a solution that didn’t involve sending their sensitive data, such as video files, to a third party for processing. The Clipchamp API’s unique features and its direct upload from the client to our cloud storage fit the bill perfectly.”

The API’s JavaScript video recorder is extremely easy to use, which also makes it perfect for students. All of the settings for size, resolution and format are regulated behind the scenes and the student simply chooses to record directly through Seesaw or just uploads a pre-recorded video. The ease of use extends to implementing the API.  Some simple lines of JavaScript is all that is needed to embed the API on a website.

Clipchamp seamlessly utilizes the webcam capabilities of desktops, laptops and specific devices such as Chromebooks to make the process even easier. According to Graham, educators found this feature very valuable because they could use tools already at their disposal.

JavaScript video recorder API suitable for Chromebooks

“One of the other things that was nice was the access to the webcam in Chromebooks in particular. A lot of teachers were excited about letting students record diaries or journal entries using video and being able to use the built-in camera was something really helpful that was supported right out of the box with Clipchamp’s webcam recording features.”

Graham found the Clipchamp team communicative, involved and helpful, relating that, “They’ve been great! They really tried to address all the different issues I brought. From my perspective, it’s been a really productive relationship. I feel like they are really in it to try and make a better product and make something that works well and that comes through in their interactions with us.”

Students and teachers are the true beneficiaries of the cooperative relationship between Clipchamp and Seesaw. Together, these services are able to offer some exciting innovative video capabilities to the education sector.


See a demo of Clipchamp’s JavaScript video recorder API and sign up for a free 14-day trial to get a video recorder, transcoder and uploader for your own website.

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